Above the Vines
"Satellites Unravel the Secrets of Terroir"
The headline might be a tad misleading (hopeful?), but the idea is interesting.
European Space Agency satellites focused in on the Italian Frascati region during last year’s harvest in an attempt to glean data about vineyard conditions that might affect quality and yield.
"The results should help the
researchers understand more about the factors affecting wine ‘terroir’;
a somewhat mystical term that loosely translates into the environmental
conditions and mini eco-system in which vines are grown.
Vintners, however, point out that a wine is also shaped by the
individual winemaker; something no satellite could appreciate. Thierry
Hasard, a southern French vintner, said a wine’s personality could
reflect its maker: “It depends on the way you pick it, treat it and nurture it.”
Not being a space flight engineer or a viticulturist, I can’t say what is to be gained by this effort? Will it result in better wine? Healthier vines? Nicely framed overhead photos?